In the vastness of the Internet it is easy to get lost, especially for a child. While about a decade ago it was much easier to monitor what kids are doing online, the popularity of smartphones has made this task more difficult. Children having access to a sea of information and media is both a blessing and a curse for them, but with the right level of regulation, the negative impact of the internet can be significantly reduced. Google apparently understands this and ships Android with a few tools that can help with this. Today we’re going to take a look at them and learn how to set them up.
Aside from the browser, the easiest way for a child to stumble upon adult content or things harmful to them on an Android smartphone is through the Google Play Store. Therefore, the app has a built-in feature to restrict the type of apps, games, and movies they can access based on age ratings. You should turn it on when you give your phone to your kid for a long time or when they have their own phone.
Follow the steps below to enable parental controls on the Google Play Store:
- Open the Google Play Store, tap the profile icon in the top right, click Settings and navigate to Family. You can find the child safety here.
- Tap Parental Controls and then turn them on. If this is your first time, you will be asked to set a PIN. This PIN will be needed whenever someone tries to make changes to parental controls settings or turn them off.
- Once the PIN is set, you can choose what content your child sees on the Play Store. For example, if you select Age 7+, your child won’t be able to view or download apps that are 12+, 16+, and 18+ age groups.
But parental controls only cover the basics. What if, among other things, you expose your child to e.g. B. want to protect adult websites? That’s where Google’s Family Link app comes in. Parental control app is very comprehensive and can help you limit your kids’ screen time, monitor their internet activity, view their app activity, manage their apps and lock their devices. The app also suggests “Teacher Recommended Apps” on Android that you can install directly on your phone. Family Link even works with iOS 9+ devices.
Follow these steps to set up Family Link on a smartphone:
- Download Family Link to your child’s phone and yourself.
- Upon opening the app, you will be prompted to link your Google account to that of your child. If your child doesn’t have a Google Account, you’ll be instructed to create one for them.
- Once the linking process is complete, kids can sign in to their devices with the new account
After they sign up, you can start using Family Link to set up calling rules for your child.
After Family Link is set up, the first thing you might want to apply to your child’s phone is a screen time limit:
- Open the Family Link app
- Choose your child
- Tap Controls, then tap Daily Limit
- Follow the on-screen instructions
When the screen time limit is reached, your child will no longer be able to unlock the device, use apps, or see notifications. You can still take calls and make emergency calls. You can also use the feature to set custom time limits for apps.